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Subject: Monopoly with Sealed Bidding...first time out rss

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sunday silence
United States
Maryland
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So by sealed bidding, I mean we played where when there was an auction for a property we bid by writing down the amount on a piece of paper and revealing. This was our first play through with this new rule and I think it went very well.

There were 10 properties that went up for auction, and twice the bids were tied. So there were actually 12 total auctions for the 10 properties. We dont use $1 bills anymore so everything is bid in $5 increments. Here are some of the prices:

(this is in the order they went in the game, I didnt record the first three auctions)

St Chas: $170 (won by $10)
Reading RR: $220
electric company: $130
my third RR: $280 (a little bit overbid but I needed it)
Boardwalk: $440 (someone else had park place so mainly to stop them)
waterworks: $190 (player already had electric co)
Atlantic: $315

Almost all the bidding was very close, usually by $10. The RR I overbid on and I think Atlantic was over bid.

NOTE ALSO: we play with the excellent variant that you can build up to TWO HOUSES if you own TWO of a color group (dark blue and purples not included for obvious reasons). SO the whole Start building/Trading in Response to Builds loop start earlier. Its a way better game.

The one major effect I noticed on the whole game: Normally when we play players auction the yellows and greens early, since they have only rarely been a deciding factor in our games. But often the prices get bid up just because we can. Normally the first one are put up for auction.

in this game: the early auctions one of the Greens go for below market price and I think Marvin Gardens went right for list price 260.

Eventually all the color groups wound up being built on at some pt. Most interesting was that the Greens wound up being the decisive property (they were hit on with properties 8x for about $2500 payoff)

Normally its very unusual for us to see the Green be decisive,I think its only happened twice before. For us the most likely color groups to prove decisive (produce the most money and win the game essentially) are:

Reds, Golds, Dark blue (sometimes), dark Purple (only if someone gets real lucky with them), purple, light blue, green (only 2x previously), yellow (I dont yellow ever was decisive)

GOlds and Reds are most often the deciding factor in our games, but hopefuly with closed bidding, this may open up the greens and yellows more since usually when they go to open auction people still bid them up and you wind up paying 300 for an overpriced yellow you wont have the cash to build on...

ALSO: closed bidding does speed up the auction process. I would guess 15 min? every bit helps.

what do you think?
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Scott
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denver
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Very cool idea. I will try this.

The two-house variant you play, does it cut down on trading? I am afraid to try any variant that would limit what is, to me, the best part of the Monopoly: the sometimes cooperative, sometimes cutthroat, deal-making.
 
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sunday silence
United States
Maryland
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I dont think it cuts down trading in the least. We havent played the real way in a long time, this house rule has become standard for us.

Incidentally we play with on other house rule (well two actually), we do allow IMMUNITIES. something that is absolutely verboten in the original rules.

However, we have this modification:

you can only grant an immunity if you do it in connection with a trade and you can only grant one immunity per trade. The immunity is valid against someone who later obtains that color group.

Allowing limited immunities certainly encourages trading and also plays into the short term/long term strategies inherent in the game. By that I mean like the greens will take a long time to pay off, whereas the railroads can turn into very good cash flow for the short term.

Thus allowing limited immunities, allows people to set up short term/long term strategic tradeoffs. For example obtaining the fourth RR and giving up one of the dark blues (happened yeserday actually) allows one to set p a nice cash flow to keep them in the game but giving up in return the long term blockbuster possibilities of Boardwalk/Park place. Its very interesting.

of course if we didnt make immunities limited, then people could grant 3 4 or however many and then the game would not end.

Oh the other house rule: no $1 dollar bills. Everything rounds to multiples of 5. Counting out $2 for Mediterranean is an absolute time waster..
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